Barry Callebaut moves towards complete traceability of cocoa supplies in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire

Swiss-headquartered Barry Callebaut has confirmed it has established 100% farm traceability of its direct cocoa supply chain within Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire that are considered at risk of sourcing from protected forest areas.

The move, which will include full traceability of all its direct cocoa sourcing within the two key West African countries by the end of 2019, and forms part of the international Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI), originally signed in November 2017.

Barry Callebaut joined with a number of leading confectionery companies (now totalling 33) that are committed to the project, including Mars Wrigley, Cargill, Cemoi, Ferrero, Guittard and The Hershey Company, in a combined bid to bring greater coordination surrounding key sustainability issues facing key African farming communities.

As part of the CFI’s Framework for Action initiative, the governments of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire are, together with industry, establishing core commitments and time-specific targets for what is termed as deforestation-free and forest-positive supply chains for cocoa. This includes individual national schemes that link with existing social and economic strategies for the region.

The CFI frameworks are built around major policy themes of forest protection and restoration, sustainable production and farmers’ livelihoods, and  community engagement and social inclusion.

According to Barry Callebaut, the establishment of traceability for farms in proximity to protected areas will be complemented by a harmonised risk assessment approach for all cocoa farms in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. It will also involve the establishment of effective national regulatory structures and legal enforcement to ensure cocoa traceability to farm level across the entire cocoa supply chain.

Regarding protection and  restoration of forests that have been degraded, governments and companies have pledged no further conversion of forest land for cocoa production, and have committed to the phased elimination of illegal cocoa production and sourcing in protected areas.

Both countries are reportedly introducing a differentiated approach for improved management of forest reserves, based on the level of degradation of forests. Up-to-date maps on forest cover and land-use, socio-economic data on cocoa farmers, and detailed operational guidelines covering forest management and land-use are being developed and will be publicly disclosed.

To ensure effective implementation and monitoring of these commitments, companies have pledged to develop verifiable monitoring systems for traceability from farm to the first purchase point for their own purchases of cocoa, and to work with governments to ensure an effective national framework for traceability encompassing all traders in the supply chain.

Speaking to Confectionery Production at this year’s ISM event in Cologne, head of global sustainability marketing, Leigh Pezzicara, explained that as regards supporting farmers directly, for the past 18 months, the company has been working within five international locations including Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire on specific farming pilot schemes. These aim to diversify crops to help improv community income levels.

The company has been working with its partners on agricultural projects to restore previous cocoa land into agroforestry farming,
incorporating shade and commercial tree species.

To date, the business said that it had distributed 922’000 young cocoa seedlings for replanting in Cote d’Ivoire and 908’000 cocoa seedlings in Ghana. Until 2022, the company aims to distribute 3.2 million cocoa seedlings in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, of which one million will be distributed with the support of our customers and 2,2 million will be paid for directly by Barry Callebaut.

During the past financial year, the company distributed almost 390’000 shade trees for replanting in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. The initiative is part of our Forever Chocolate approach to supply economic shade trees to farmers in degraded areas. Until 2022, financially
supported by our customers, we aim to distribute a total of 1,2 million shade trees in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.



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